Winston-Salem foreclosure assistance operation banned from NC
Release date: 2/28/2012
Cooper urges homeowners to seek free help from qualified housing counselors instead
Raleigh: A Winston-Salem foreclosure assistance outfit that promised to save struggling homeowners from foreclosure is permanently banned from offering foreclosure assistance or credit repair services in North Carolina, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Tuesday.
“These schemes are a waste of homeowners’ money and can actually end up costing them their homes,” Cooper said. “Struggling homeowners are much better off working with their bank or a free housing counselor than falling for a scam.”
Late Monday, Wake County Superior Court Judge Michael R. Morgan signed a consent judgment
between Cooper and Edward “Eddie” Phillip Long, Jr., doing business as Credit Enhancement Services, banning Long from offering foreclosure and loan modification services in North Carolina. Long will also pay $5,600 for consumer restitution.
Cooper’s office filed suit against Long in May 2011 and since then Credit Enhancement Services has ceased operating. As alleged in the complaint, Long charged upfront fees of between $300-$500 and promised to obtain favorable loan modifications to save customers’ homes from foreclosure. Despite Long’s assurances, many homeowners were unable to obtain loan modifications, and some lost their homes to foreclosure.
Under North Carolina law, it’s illegal to charge an advance fee for foreclosure assistance or loan modifications, a change to the law that Cooper helped put in place in 2005.
Earlier this month, Cooper and other state attorneys general reached a landmark agreement worth up to $37 billion with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers that will help provide real loan modifications to many homeowners. The settlement will also provide millions of dollars
for housing counselors and legal assistance to help North Carolina homeowners facing foreclosures or struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments.
“If you’re facing foreclosure, don’t fall for empty promises of help in exchange for an upfront fee,” warned Cooper. “Report scams to our office, and seek out real help instead.”
If you suspect fraud by a foreclosure rescue company or if you have been charged upfront fees, report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division toll-free at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM. For free help dealing with foreclosure, visit www.ncforeclosurehelp.org
or call 1-866-234-4857. For more information about the national mortgage foreclosure settlement, visit ncdoj.gov or www.nationalforeclosuresettlement.com
Contact: Noelle Talley, (919) 716.6413